7 ADHD-Friendly Ways to Improve Your Memory

Writing list
Robert Zaleski/Stocksy United

Being forgetful is an ADHD symptom that can cause many problems. You can miss important events, work deadlines, and let loved ones down (many times). You can feel really bad about yourself as a result.

Here are seven ADHD-friendly ways to improve and support your memory, so the quality of your life is enhanced.

1. Pay Attention

In order to be able to remember something, you need to be paying attention to it.

Having ADHD can make this tricky! Rather than trying to pay attention to everything, be strategic. Pick key actions where your life will be easier if you could remember doing them. For example, two common activities that cause distress are remembering if you locked the front door or switched the oven off. You might have a different version, such as whether you remembered to let your dog back in the house. Whatever yours is, when you are performing this task be very present and mindful; do no allow yourself to multi-task during this activity. This simple habit will aid your memory and limit stressful situations.

2. Write Lists 

Lists are a useful memory aid and organization tool. You can write lists for almost anything you do, from your trip to the grocery store to what to pack for a weekend getaway. The interesting thing about lists is that in order to write one, you are forced to pay attention and organize your thoughts.

This has a beneficial effect on your memory and sometimes you won’t need to refer to it once it has been written.

3. Vitamin D

Lower levels of vitamin D have been associated with ADHD. If you are struggling with your memory, Vitamin D maybe a great supplement to include into your daily life. In addition to taking a supplement, getting a dose of sunlight every day is also helpful to ensure you get your Vitamin D quota.

4. Omega-3

Omega 3 may help improve your attention and memory. Taking a supplement and eating a diet that is Omega 3-rich, such as fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds, helps your brain work at its optimum.

5. Use Tools to Aid Your Memory

There is no shame in using tools to help your memory. Some people with ADHD don’t want to use agendas and reminders on their phone, etc. because they think they "should" be able to remember these things. Don’t punish yourself unnecessarily. Embrace these tools, because they help you to function at your best. You will arrive on time to meetings and remember your partner's birthday. This allows you to excel at work and enjoy happy fulfilling relationships. If you want to test your memory, do it in fun ways, where the states aren’t so high.

6. Reduce Stress

When you are feeling stressed, your memory is negatively affected. The good news is that many of the activities that help with stress relief also help manage your ADHD, such as regular exercise, meditation, and time in nature.


7. Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep adversely affects your memory in two ways:

a)     Sleep deprivation makes it difficult to focus on what is happening in the moment.

b)    When you are sleeping, the information you learned during the day is processed and stored, so you can recall it at a later date. 

About 75 percent of adults with ADHD struggle with sleep. So, make a commitment to learn about ADHD and sleep and discover what actions you can do to improve yours.

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